PISCATAWAY, NJ – Junior Greg Havalchak (Corning, NY), who earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and second team STX/USILA All-America honors, was awarded the William Miller Trophy as RU’s Most Valuable Player at the annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon.
Havalchak finished the season as the ECAC leader in goals-against average (7.35), saves (172) and save percentage (.628). Nationally, he ranked fourth in goals-against average and second in save percentage.
In two years as a starter, Havalchak has 362 career saves with a 7.50 goals-against average. His 362 career saves already ranks ninth in school history. Against Dartmouth last season, he stopped a career-high 22 shots, and matched that performance with a 21-save effort in a 14-10 victory over eventual national-champion Syracuse on April 17. He was also one of 15 nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top men’s lacrosse player in the country.
Matt Apel (Bridgewater, NJ) took home the Knight Cup as the squad’s most inspirational player. Apel, who battled a series of injuries throughout his career, started 10 of 14 games last season and finished with five goals and six assists for 11 points.
Leif Blomquist (Long Beach, NY) and Tim White (Rockville Center, NY) shared the Alfred Sasser Trophy, which is awarded to the player with the most assists. Both Blomquist and White totaled 19 assists. Blomquist had a team-high 38 points on the season (19 goals, 19 assists) while White had 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists).
The Frederick Fitch Trophy, awarded to the Most Improved player, went to Tom O’Toole (Long Beach, NY). O’Toole played in all 14 games and was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on April 27 after he held Penn State’s leading scorer, Will Cutler, to zero points in a 10-6 Rutgers victory.
Andrew Conforti (Ringoes, NJ) earned the Robert Collett Award as the player who displayed the most mental and physical spirit. Conforti started 42 consecutive games over the past three seasons on defense.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Jim Stagnitta, Rutgers finished the 2004 season 8-6 overall and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Scarlet Knights played five ranked opponents and were ranked in the Top 15 of the USILA coach’s poll every week of the regular season.